08 February, 2010

Beads or jewellery? A lampworkers dilemma

I bet all of the lampwork artists who also make jewellery know this dilemma: You open your kiln and pcik out the annealed beads. You release them from the mandrel and carefully clean them from bead release (the clay the steel mandrel is dipped in before you make your beads).

And now what?

Should I sell it as it is?

Or should I make some kind of jewellery out of it?

And in that case - sterling silver or silverplated?

Or leather or beaded or....?

And what length?
(I borrowed this picture from Reeds. Hope they'll excuse me!)


I find I tend to keep more and more of my beads as they are. This is for several reasons:

1. I think that in webshops, people prefer buying beads to jewellery. That's beacause you often want to see pices you are going to wear with your own two eyes. Beadshoppers are also used to shopping online and therefore has a lower treshold for buying stuff unseen.

2. If someone wants a bead made into jewellery, that's easily done. The customer can also decide wich material, length etc he or she wants to have. If, on the other hand, someone wants to take the bead out of the jewellery, I'd say no, of course. I might make a similar one though!

3. I have homeparties with my beads and jewellery now and then. And though people love touching and trying my jewellery on, I sometimes think they love going through my bead boxes even more! I very often get orders on jewellery made from beads out of my boxes. And here too can they decide wich materials to use etc. They even have a display of my materials at hand as I always have quite an exhibition of jewellery at these parties!

4. It's also a question of time. I love making jewellery but I LOVE making beads. And as there are only so many hours in a week...

On the other hand - there will always be people who loves to buy readymade. And also - not least important - I really enjoy putting out the torch once in a while and make something with some of my glassy goodies!

1 comment:

Noora said...

I haven't got so far in beadmaking that I would have that dilemma yet. My problem is that the pieces of jewelry anyone ever wants to buy usually are the ones I made for myself :-) Maybe that simply means I make too little jewelry...

I would probably sell the beads as they are. I know I definitely prefer buying beads over buying jewelry, but that's because I can make the jewelry myself once I have the beads.